One of the best-selling gold coins in the world is the Chinese Gold Panda. Issued for the first time by the Chinese Mint in 1982, the Gold Panda coin is a diverse collection that includes 1 oz/30 Gram coins and fractional-weight coins as well. With a new design of the Giant Panda on the reverse each year, this collection of gold coins for sale is perfect for investors and collectors alike!
The first Chinese Gold Panda coins from the Chinese Mint were issued in 1982. During this introductory year, the Chinese Mint offered the Gold Panda coinage in weights of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz with each coin featuring .999 pure gold content. The initial popularity of the Chinese Gold Panda coin was such that the mint wasted little time expanding the series to feature a 1/20 oz Gold Panda as well.
Throughout the history of the Chinese Gold Panda’s production cycle, the Chinese Mint has used a new design on the reverse side of the coin each year. This has not always been the case for its silver counterpart, but the Chinese Mint has focused on providing investors and collectors with something worthy of purchase by including a new Giant Panda image each year on the Gold Panda coins. Only once has the Chinese Mint failed to deliver a new design. This occurred in 2002 when the same design from 2001 was used, but the protests of faithful investors helped change the mind of the Chinese Mint and a new design was made available in 2003.
The obverse face of the Chinese Gold Panda coin features the same design elements every year dating back to 1982. The Temple of Heaven complex is located in the south-central neighborhoods of Beijing. The nation’s capital city saw the Temple of Heaven complex rise from the ground between 1406 and 1420, with the primary structure known as the Hall of Prayer for Abundant Harvests depicted on the reverse of Chinese Gold Pandas. Other design elements on this face include the year of issue at the stairs to the Hall of Prayer for Abundant Harvests, as well as the Chinese characters above which read “Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo,” which translates into English as “People’s Republic of China.”
On the reverse face of the Chinese Gold Panda coin depicts a new scene every year. This is the side of the coin which gives the collection its name. You’ll find the Giant Panda species featured on this side of the coin, a species of bears native to the central highlands of China. The panda is easily noticeable among other bear species courtesy of its black-and-white fur, particularly in the patches of black around its eyes and a face of white fur.
The coining history of the Chinese Gold Panda coin is arguably the most complex of any coin. As mentioned above, the Gold Panda debuted in 1982 with four weights and gained a fifth in 1983. Since then, the Chinese Mint has issued these five coins annually, but the designs of the Giant Panda on the reverse are the not only elements which have changed with time. The original 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz coins had the following denominations (Yuan) from 1982/83 to 2000:
In 2001, the Chinese Mint altered the denominations of the coins to feature the following face values by weight:
The changes in the denomination issued on each coin were not the only ones to occur with time. More recently, the Chinese Mint made a significant change to the Chinese Gold Panda by removing Troy ounces as the unit of measurement marked on the coin. Instead, all Chinese Gold Panda coins issued after 2016 have weights marked in Grams on the coin. This, the Chinese Mint says, is to bring the coins in line with the nation’s use of the Metric system. The weights changed to the following markers:
The changes in weight measurements did not impact the denominations the Chinese Mint switched to in 2001 for the Gold Pandas. While all five weights maintained the same thickness of the coin, the switch to Grams evened out the weights with the 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/20 oz coins dropping slightly in total weight from previous measurements. The 1/4 oz coin actually gained some weight going from 7.7758 Grams as a 1/4 oz coin to an even 8 Grams under the new unit of measurement.
Finally, the diameter of the coins was altered slightly as well with the switch to Grams. Only the 1/2 oz coin maintained a diameter of 27.00 mm. The 1 oz and 1/20 oz coins shrunk slightly from their original diameters, while the 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz coins increased diameter slightly.
The Chinese Gold Panda coin is predominantly issued by the Chinese Mint as a gold bullion investment coin. However, in 1986 the Chinese Mint did briefly offer Gold Panda proof sets for collectors. This program ran from 1986 to 1992 and featured a circular “P” mark on the coin’s reverse sides. Additionally, the Chinese Mint has issued low-mintage coins above 1 oz in weight. Although not regularly issued each year, the mint has produced 5 oz and 12 oz Gold Panda coins. Since 1997, the Chinese Mint has released 1 Kilogram Chinese Gold Panda coins, though mintage figures are extremely low. For example, the first year of this particular issue included just 58 coins in total!
If you have any questions as you look to buy gold in the Chinese Gold Panda range, please don’t hesitate to ask. JM Bullion customer service is available to you at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address.